Review: Purist Audio Designs Venustas and Opis Interconnect

Category: Cables

All of these comments are my personal opinion based on listening in my system. With that said, please check out my system details on Audiogon.

My components perform better with XLR cables. Both Purist cables are a dramatic improvement over my previous cable. First thing that struck is the background noise. Somehow this cable removes noise from the entire system. You can hear back of stage events that never were audible before. The lowering of the noise floor allows details to emerge from LP's and CD's that I've heard dozens on times. However, this lower noise floor does not translate into loss of info in the top end. Actually, the Purist cable retains the air, sparkle, extension while being extremely quiet. You'll think it's a dark cable at first, but it's not. Quiet is the correct word.

The next interesting thing is that it adds a weight/foundation/wetness quality to the sound in all frequencies. It adds warmth everywhere without shifting the tonal balance. Just sounds more real and life like. The bass goes lower. I get bass extension that I never had. My Watt/Puppies are now really reaching down low in the bottom end. Again, without loss of detail, without being over powerful. I just goes lower.

The images are bigger, more round, but more separated. The illusion of movement is something you become aware of. You can hear and feel how the brush is moving across the snare drum. And which direction the brush strokes are going. The Image was a little wider, little deeper, and taller-for the main instruments. The spooky part comes into play on these back of hall, far side of hall events. You hear little things to the sides and to the rear of soundstage that is eerie.

The differences between the Opis and the Venustas are the Opis is more dynamic. You can feel things jump a little more. More punch in the drums. More bite in horns and and vocals. Also the Opis is more extended on top. Cymbals etc have a little more impact. The Venustas, is more reserved on the top end. You don't loose detail here, just a subtle shift. On strings, and in the mids, the Venustas has more of a wet, full sound. Not emphasis, just a little more weight is these areas. They are both great cables. I'd be fully happy with either. System matching and your budget will dictate which to choose. Either way, you won't go wrong. You might like one on digital and the other on Vinyl.

Given the differences above, both cables beat my Transparent Reference w/XL. That surprised me. Especially since my system is mostly fully wired with it. More everything. More detail, more extension at the frequency extremes, bigger images, bigger stage, plus this illusion of movement from the instruments. I never really had that before. It is much closer to the real thing in my opinion.

Both Purist cables were in my system approx 2 weeks. The Transparent was in the system about 2 years. All of these cable go through breakin. Same for Purist. These comments are based on listening and a purchase. I listen to both LP and digital sources.

Approx new prices:

Opis $1850
Venustas $1800
Transparent $4000

Thanks for reading.

Associated gear
Click to view my Virtual System

Similar products
Transparent Reference with XL
Jfrech, I just put the Venustas in my system, you are spot on with your review. The lowered noise floor and the bigger sound are what stood out most in my system. Still haven't come to a final determination as to their tonal balance, perhaps a bit on the dark side of neutral.
Jfrech, you should also try to get rid of your Ref w/ XL speaker cables. I have had TA Reference w/ MM for a couple of weeks, then changed to AQ Kilimanjaro and was simply blown away.

any thoughts on what speaker cables work best w/ the WP6s? purist or transparent? (or AQ kilimanjaro?)

I know Wilson likes Transparent. He usually demo's with them, and the WP 6's are internally wired with Transparent. I've been using Trans Ref w/ XL for years and never tried anything else. I think I'll try the Purist maybe in 6 months and see...
In addition to all the other comments, I'd just like to add: If you haven't heard a set of Venustas phono cables, you just haven't lived! Nothing else even comes close -- and I mean NOTHING!

Yes they're expensive, but for $1800 bucks, you'll think you just spent ten grand on your analog front end.
I've been using Opis speaker cables for a little less than a week now. In other words they still aren't fully broken in. I am however in shock at how big an improvement they made over the Museaus! I intend to do a proper review comparing the two back to back in detail in a couple of weeks. "It's just wire, how can it make that big a difference?" is the thought that keeps running through my head. Followed shortly by "I must be losing my mind."
I'm just trying out the Museaus against Cardas Hex 5C's, Goertz M2, Opus 9's, etc. So far I'm prefering them for a big warm natural sound. They're not the fastest or most dynamic, but they do a better job of natural sound reproduction overall - and oh the bass. I'm impressed so far, but can see Opis may be calling my name in a few years.
I second Mem916 on Opis speaker cable. I've been having Opis for about two weeks replacing my MIT Terminator II. I bought it from a very nice A'gon member here and he said I will not be disappointed with these cables. I feel it so warm and a lot of bass at first. However, these cables deliver excellent mids, highs and very details. If you are not patience enough, you will find them too dark, but they are not. They are just warm, detail and excellent seperation. The more I listen my musics with these cables the more I get hooked. I can spend the whole afternoon untill midnight listening to musics with these cables easily. With MIT Terminator II I used to have, I can only listen to musics for couple of hours and I have to rest my ears for a while:).